Social Media Marketing World (SMMW) is an annual gathering of marketers at sunny San Diego and our Head of Business Development, Ruby, was there this year. It’s a long way home for this Borneo-born firecracker — in fact this was her first long-haul flight from tropical Malaysia. What a daunting but exhilarating experience!
“Is social media dying?”, skeptics cry.
With rich topics such as “Mastering TikTok Strategies”, and “How to create a Winning LinkedIn Sales Funnel” in the SMMW schedule, there is no doubt that social media is alive and kicking.
And, Meta (may) have something to do with it.
Facebook top social media for leads
Right off the keynote, Michael Stelzner, CEO and founder of Social Media Examiner, shared some surprising facts from their Industry Report.
Two focus areas:
Facebook is the top platform for lead generation.
Its sister platform, Instagram remains the top choice for brands to get exposure.
Like Taylor Swift releasing her new single, Meta has left clues on how we will be consuming content in the coming years.
So, what actually gets seen on the feed?
In the last quarter of 2022, Facebook has focused on showing meaningful and informative content on your feed. 50.7% of posts seen are from Friends and People Followed. Indirectly, Pages and Groups are down by 48% and 25% respectively.
This can only mean one thing: fans and followers are less important. Content that gets picked up by Meta’s artificial intelligence (AI)-driven algorithm matters.
To understand why Zuckerberg is going all in on AI, it helps to see where he is taking Meta. He coined Meta as a place where we connect, work, learn and shop.
In the last year, Meta has built in AI-powered discovery features that not only shows relevant content from Friends and Family but also content outside of their network. This new AI feature helps people to discover new things while supporting content creators in the platform.
If you struggle with getting your content seen, take note of these top strategies you can use to send powerful signals to the algorithm, and ultimately, make your content more discoverable.
#1 Do More Reels!
Hello TikTok 2.0!
If your Instagram (IG) feed is flooded with reels from accounts you don’t follow, this is only the beginning.
“The reels algorithm was designed to help users reach new eyes”, according to Stelzner.
Meta is changing its algorithm to play catch up to TikTok. It is taking the guesswork out of content creation with heaps of in-platform tools. For instance, the “auto-create” feature creates reels for users all within 15 minutes.
The push is what Zuckerberg calls the “Discovery Engine”, an AI-driven system that shows content from “unconnected sources” based on interests and signals shown by users.
Did you know that different types of content can help you reach different goals on Instagram?
Whether your goal is to nudge your followers to buy in your business or engage with your posts, here’s a guide based on your goals:
Firstly, to attract follower growth: pump out more shareable content, collaborative features and reels. This will help your content reach the unconnected.
Next, to increase engagement: post more behind-the-scenes, raw and real content. Don’t overthink it and film what you do in a day or repost customer tags.
Another, to attract more customers: focus on highlights, pinned posts, and shoppable posts*.
*Shoppable posts are digital content on social media that encourage people to click-through to purchase items from an online store.
#2 New Tool Alert: Broadcast Channels!
Instagram’s new chat feature, Broadcast Channel, acts as a direct line for Instagram creators to their followers. In short, it is direct messages (DMs) on steroids.
Can your audience respond? No, but they can react and engage with stickers.
This feature helps create Broadcast Channels from your own inbox. When you post your first message, your followers will receive a notification to join.
You will also get an invitation link to share the joy to your followers, if they’re not on your Broadcast Channel yet.
#3 Your Profile is the Most Searchable Part
You heard the saying: “If a tree falls in the forest, and there’s no one around to hear it, did it really fall?”
The logic is simple. Make your brand seen (preferably, at a glance) and you will reach your goals.
Brief and captivating is the golden rule to a strong IG bio. Your Display Photo and Name should spell out what your brand do loud and clear.
Social media platforms can change overnight. Twitter, once a blue bird and is now an X (thanks, Elon!)
Meta rolls out new features under their ecosystem almost every other day. So don’t let your content go to waste. Adapt it to the platform to get seen by the algorithm.
This is why attending industry events like #SMMW helps marketers like myself know what the new “shiny objects” these social media platforms have to offer.
One personal highlight: I love what happens on the hallways after each super insightful talks. I got to rub shoulders with the experts, exchange ideas and commiserate over our common challenges.
You’ll be surprised how open marketers are to share the challenges they face and discuss ways to resolve them. There’s so much more to learn from everyone, and I can’t wait to share more with you in my next few blog posts!
This is Part 1 of 4 in the series where Ruby shares her learnings from #SMMW 2023. Up next is Part 2 – find out how you can create engaging thumbnails with AI.